Cultural Food Fair 2024 – Miramar Central School

Delicious food from around the world, drumming and dance

Wellington Batucada team photo at Miramar Central School 2024 - photo by AliG

After the excitement and crowds of CubaDupa, it was a really nice contrast to be in the playground at Miramar Central School, doing a lovely little performance for their annual Cultural Food Fair.

I always love it when we have heaps of kids in the audience – they’re so enthusiastic! We had a decent-sized group of boys and girls joining our dancers in a spirited imitation of our choreographed dance moves – and they did it really well. There were a few I think would have fitted right in as official Batucada dancers – and it’s always great to find new talent! Perhaps we should get Gordo our gig co-ordinator to have a word with his partner who’s a teacher at the school…

Lisa and I were representing the chocalhos for this gig, just the two of us playing the shaker. We were having a grand old time of it. I looked away for a second, and when I looked back, Lisa had been joined on-stage by a tiny wee girl who was SUPER KEEN to have a go at the chocalho. Lisa handed over her instrument, showed the little girl how to hold it, while I carried on playing to demonstrate what to do.

She was amazing! She kinda figured out how to move the shaker forwards and backwards in the “throwing” motion that we use, and she was paying close attention to what I was doing. So when I changed the position of my chocalho to play “up” rather than “down”, in response to the director’s signal, she understood that she should do that too, and followed suit. For someone so young, she did an absolutely fantastic job.

And then, just like that, she was gone – “That’s it – done my bit – now I’m going to hang out with my mum…” I wonder if she’s from a musical family – she certainly had the aptitude for it.

Batucada member Benny turned up mid-gig – in mufti clothes, rather than the Batucada uniform – and joined in. He’d not realised we were performing today, but had heard us from his house, which is nearby, and came racing over with his agogo bell to see what was going on. It’s all happening here today, I tell you!

After the gig, someone noted the following discussion between members of their local neighbourhood group. It was an interesting conversation, starting with the question:

“What is with all the drumming by Maupuia Road, um extremely loud?”

Various people weighed in with suggestions that it might be coming from the Cultural Food Fair, including someone who got it exactly right – and even knew it was us. Various other people commented on where in Wellington they were while still being able to hear us – which prompted our gig co-ordinator Gordo to ask “I’d be curious to know how far away it was heard – Hataitai so far seems to be the furthest”.

Seems like our Gordo has a bit of a reputation with the locals, as the conversation ended with the comment “It’s always Gordon and Batucada!! Trouble… :)” to which Gordo could only reply “Cool”.

Hi neighbours! Hope you enjoyed our little concert! We certainly did!

Photo gallery

Photos by Alison Green, Gina King and Kelly Etuata. Click on any thumbnail to see the larger version:

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